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FAO Report Says Livestock Is Damaging the Environment

A Food and Agriculture Organization report criticizes the global livestock sector for harmful impacts on the environment.

The global livestock sector is a major generator of greenhouse gas emissions, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report it released Wednesday.

According to the report, titled "Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options," the livestock sector accounts for more than 9% of carbon dioxide derived from human-related activities, 65% of human-related nitrous oxide, 37% of human-related methane and 64% of ammonia.

"Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation," says Henning Steinfeld, chief of FAO's Livestock Information & Policy branch and senior author of the report.

The agriculture sector is growing faster than any other section of agriculture, contributing about 40% of global ag output, FAO says.

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